Though best known as the bigger-than-life star of such shows as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof and Rhinoceros, Mostel had another talent: painting.
Mostel dreamed of becoming an artist long before he began his career as a performer. During the 1930s, he was a WPA artist. Later, he summered on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine, where he kept a studio. He also worked out of a winter studio in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. Mostel was well respected as a painter during his lifetime, showing at prominent New York museums and sometimes commanding prices in the thousands.
He painted many self-portraits, of which the Swann painting is one. It is expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000.
Swann Auction Galleries is at 104 E. 24th Street. For more information, call (212) 254-4710.
For more information, or to view the complete catalog, visit swanngalleries.com.